When Sierra Leone’s Petroleum Resources Unit (PRU) named provisional winners of eight offshore oil blocks last month, it teamed various bidders together for four of the blocks, telling them to move forward as partners in negotiations. The companies had no say in the matter.
“It is like a forced marriage,” said Adekunle King, legal officer for the PRU. Read more
Exports of west African oil are on the rise, with Asian nations increasing supplies from the region. According to a recent report by Reuters, China, India, Indonesia, Taiwan and others in the region bought an average of 1.74m barrels of oil per day from west Africa for first nine months of 2012, up about 8 per cent from the same period a year ago.
The 2012 figures represent an overall record for the region, the report states, with exports to Asia rising more than 50 per cent over the last five years to meet growing demand. The reasons for the demand, however are not entirely clear cut. Is this a response to Iranian sanctions, as suggested? Read more
The smooth and easy transition of power to Ghana’s Vice President John Dramani Mahama following the passing of President John Atta Mills speaks volumes about the strength of the nation’s democracy.
In areas such as oil and technology, progress should stay on track. But the markets still have a few things to iron out – the currency especially being a concern. Read more
It’s rainy season in Sierra Leone, but officials here aren’t at all gloomy when it comes to economic forecasts.
The country’s GDP is expected to grow by a sky-high 32.5 per cent in 2012. That’s revised down a few notches from the 35.9 per cent reported by the IMF earlier this year. However, growth might be a bit more down-to-earth in 2013. Read more
Africa’s banking industry is finding opportunities for growth even as the crisis in the eurozone hangs over it as a potential threat. Take Ecobank Group, the Togo-based pan-African banking group.
“We’re watching the euro on two levels,” says Arnold Ekpe, group chief executive. Read more
West Africa’s mobile phone and data markets are often seen as bright spots in otherwise turbulent economies. But a top regulator in the region says there are still many issues to address before declaring victory in modernising the sector.
Governments, operators and investors need to move beyond the “euphoria” of high penetration rates and realise that ICT (information and communications technology) is about more than having a mobile phone, says Nnamdi Nwokike, executive secretary of the West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (Watra). Read more
There is little question that Nigeria needs to produce more electricity. Now one state government is trying to take control of its energy crisis with the help of a California-based company.
Califco Group, a private company focused on land and infrastructure development, has joined a public private partnership with Ebonyi state in southeastern Nigeria to construct a 600-megawatt gas fired turbine power plant. Also on tap: a 1.5m tonne cement factory and a 50-megawatt diesel fired plant. Read more
International hotel chains are increasing their presence in Africa, but getting the buildings constructed isn’t getting any easier.
At the end of February, there were 208 signed deals for new international hotel projects on the continent. At the same point last year, there were 159 total projects in the pipeline, according to an industry report. That represents 38,074 individual rooms, up from 31,559 in 2011. That’s the aim, but the reality might be different. Read more